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Barbara Hicks | Event - Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry
November 21, 2008
Wink &
Red Shoe Clothing Company

This was the first Dirty Laundry event that I’ve attended. The presenters were interesting and did a good job of sharing their client experiences.

Kerry Riley of Red Shoe Clothing Company was a quirky woman with the admirable quality of being able to laugh at herself. Her most negative client experiences seemed to have the common denominator of Kerry not knowing when to say no and setting herself up by taking on more than she can handle. At the same time, it’s a reality check because there are times when we have to do more than we can reasonably handle. That’s just the way it is. She was inspiring because she has found a way to make a business out of several things that she really enjoys – including photographing horses, tango dancing and clothing design. It’s impressive to me that she has worked all those things in together.

Richard Boynton and Scott Thayres of Wink, a graphic design firm here in the city, did a really great job of presenting their client experiences. What was really cool about their presentation is that it was, in itself, a great piece of design. They combined media, graphics, data, and their own personal stories to show their client experiences from ‘pain in the butt’ to ‘walk in the park’. They’re obviously a great team, which leads one to consider just how important teamwork is. They talked about a job they did for a guy who made soap. Really crappy, mediocre soap. Nothing special at all about this soap. These guys did such a great job designing packaging and marketing material for this soap that sales went crazy. Just goes to show you. Then they drew something like 193 drawings for a really cool book, only to have one of the authors decide she didn’t like the style. Their best client was a guy who called them from the phone book, asked them to design a logo, picked one he liked in about 30 seconds and wrote them a nice big check. So, they’ve worked on projects that they loved and thought would be great that turned out to be the worst because of the client; they worked on projects that they hated and didn’t care about which turned out to be great successes for them and their clients; they worked with clients who they thought would be easy to work with who turned out to be the most difficult and unreasonable and they worked with clients they thought would be difficult who turned out to be their best clients. The key thing is they used their creativity, hard work, humor, intelligence and partnership in all of those jobs. It seems to be working well for them! The business that they have put together is something that I aspire to have at some point, so they are an inspiration to me.

It was an interesting event and I’m glad I went, but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t enough room to sit comfortably and it was really hot in the room. For an event that they only have two times a year, it seems like they could have organized it a little better.